Friday, May 7, 2010

Thursday, April 29

I'm starting our story from the day his deployment ended. These entries are composed from memory, my journal entries, and the notebook I used to log Jay's unusual behavior.

The Trip, The Cell Phone, and TMI

Since Jay had slept for 14 hours I was hopeful that today would be a good day. I got him to work and luckily everyone was released at 9am. I had been waiting in the car for three hours. Since it was so early in the morning it wasn't hot yet, but our son was awake this time. It is very difficult to keep a five year old busy in a car for three hours. But, Jay had asked me to wait, so wait I did. On the way home I asked him how he felt since he seemed less zombie-like. He told me he felt numb. It hurts when the man you love is so sad from the inside out.

We had an errand to run in the city. A trip to the city requires about 25 minutes on the interstate. Right now the interstate is not Jay's friend. Semis zipping by at 70 mph send Jay up against the car door grasping the handles. Our errand took us downtown where I do not like to drive. This time of year is BIG for this little city and the traffic was not pretty. I do not enjoy driving and I HATE driving in the city. Period. We got a little turned around and I was getting very nervous. I'm always afraid that I am going to make a stupid mistake and cause an accident. This anxiety is very real and has paralyzed me since I was 16.

But, only one person at a time can have anxiety issues so I really need to learn to keep mine in check. The beautiful thing was Jay took my hand and calmed ME down. He helped me figure out where I needed to be and helped me see that my fears were unwarranted. We got lost on our way out but I didn't care because I knew that he was with me. And thankfully, he was lucid enough to help me. I'm happy I had the little attack. It provided me a window into what my husband must be feeling. In my case, I knew why I was feeling the way I was and I knew that it would stop as soon as I was out of the situation. Jay feels that panicked feeling thru out the day and he doesn't know when it will end. I will go to the end of the earth to make this stop for him.

Jay has been very restless. Always on the move. He wanted to go pick out new cellphones. His had a broken hinge and although I had managed to use it for his entire deployment, when he got home he didn't have the patience to open it gingerly enough to keep it together. My phone's charger has been messed up since October. But I don't like to change phones. I get used to one and it becomes an extension of me. I have no desire to learn how to use another one. I would be happy to just keep going out to my car to charge my old phone. It really is out of date, I guess. Who keeps a cellphone for 2 1/2 years?

We were in the Sprint store being helped by a really sweet girl when Jay got a call from one of his superiors. Normally, Jay would have just excused himself and walked away to take the call. This time he just answered the call in front of the girl and then just walked out with no explanation. And left her standing there. She turned to me to finish her presentation of the phones. I then offered her the explanation that my husband had just got home and needed a little time to acclimate himself socially again. She seemed to understand.

An hour before, Jay had received a text to wear his beret the next morning. Apparently Jay didn't respond that he had received this message and someone was a little upset. Good grief. This would normally be no big deal for Jay. He would just let it roll off him. But, now he is so fragile emotionally that this little episode had real power to ruin our night. So he stayed outside while I finished setting up his new phone. I will return later to pick out mine.

After he picked out his phone (the most complicated one, by the way) he wanted to go to Walmart to look around and to just keep moving. We were doing fine until we got in line. Being in line is very stressful for Jay. I guess he feels enclosed and confined and it gives him serious anxiety. We were in the middle of a conversation and he just walked away mid-sentence to go to the bench across from the registers. A peaceful calm came over me. It was as though this was perfectly normal and we would just pick up our conversation when we got to the car. I think that our normal is going to be very different now. And I am ok with that.

When we were at the doctor's Monday, Dr. W expressed to us how important it was that we remain intimate. He was worried that the side effects from the meds would kill Jay's libido. He gave him a prescription to help him along. In the car on the way home that day Jay laughed a little that he would never need help in that department. But here we were Thursday and we had not been physical since Sunday afternoon. A 29 year old, fresh from a deployment, would normally want to be rolling around in the hay every minute. But, all this medication has Jay zapped. He tried the prescription but even with my efforts we just couldn't make it happen.

It was a half-hearted attempt on my part, I confess. I knew that Jay was only trying because he felt that I wanted it. Right now Jay has no interest in anything, not just sex. I don't feel the neglect that he assumes I do. If we had not been intimate for several weeks then maybe I would feel neglected but it had only been a few days. A few exhausting days at that. So, my goal was to just get him to our bed. My hope was that once he was horizontal and in the dark he would get sleepy and be able to drift off. And that's exactly what happened. Under any other circumstance a woman would be ticked that she had shaved and prepped for nothing. But at that moment in time, I couldn't have been happier. I watched him sleep for a few minutes and ran my hands over my smooth legs. It would be another week before I even had the time to shave again.

Even though the prescription didn't have the effect Jay was hoping for, at least something good came from it. When I woke up the next morning I found that he had eaten 10 pizza rolls, several Poptarts, and a bunch of cookies. That was more than he had eaten since he got home. And while he hadn't rested in the night like I thought he had, at least he had filled his belly.

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